Endoscopy Information

Upper GI Endoscopy

What is Upper GI Endoscopy?
Upper GI endoscopy is a special exam of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If you are having symptoms of an upper GI problem, this procedure may be done to help find the cause. It can also help treat upper GI problems, as well.

Upper GI Anatomy
Upper GI endoscopy allows your doctor to look directly into the upper parts of the GI tract. The esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) make up the upper GI tract.

What Upper GI Endoscopy Can Do
Upper GI endoscopy helps diagnose ulcers, gastritis, growths, causes of bleeding or pain, and cancer. It may detect the presence H. pylori, a type of bacteria that causes ulcers. It is also used for taking a sample of tissue (biopsy). Foreign objects or growths can be removed. Bleeding can be stopped and narrowed areas (strictures) can be opened.

The Procedure
A doctor and a nurse perform the procedure. It takes about 15 minutes.

During the Procedure

  • You lie on the endoscopy table.
  • You are given sedating (relaxing) medication through an intravenous (IV) line.
  • You swallow the endoscope. This is thinner than most pieces of food that you swallow. It will not affect your breathing. The medication helps keep you from gagging.
  • Air is inserted to expand your GI tract. This air can make you burp.
  • The endoscope carries images of your upper GI tract to a video screen. Prints of the video images can be taken. these prints are stored as a record of your exam.
  • After the procedure is done, you rest for a time. An adult must drive you home.

Lower GI Endoscopy

What is Lower GI Endoscopy?
It is a special exam of your lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If you had an abnormal x-ray or symptoms of a lower GI problem, this procedure may be done to get a better look. It can also help treat certain lower GI problems. During the endoscopy, a long, narrow, flexible tube called an endoscope is used. This instrument contains a strong light and a video camera. Your GI tract can then be viewed on a video screen.

The Procedure
The Doctor and a nurse perform the procedure. Colonoscopy can take 30 minutes or longer. Sigmoidoscopy often takes less then 15 minutes.

During the Procedure

  • You lie on the table on your left side.
  • For colonoscopy, you are given sedating (relaxing) medication through an IV line. Sigmoidoscopy usually doesn’t require sedation.
  • The endoscope is inserted into your rectum. You may feel pressure and cramping. If you feel pain, tell your doctor or nurse. You may receive more sedation or some pain medication.
  • The endoscope carries images of your colon to a video screen. Prints of the image may be taken as a record of your exam.
  • When the procedure is done, you rest for a time. If you have been sedated you must have an adult drive you home.

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